MPSC approves more wind for Consumers' renewable energy plan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   February 7, 2019

Contact: Nick Assendelft 517-284-8300
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LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Public Service Commission today approved Consumers Energy Co.’s request to add wind generation to its renewable energy plan, but delayed a decision on the company’s request to add solar facilities.

Consumers said the new wind and solar facilities are needed to meet the state’s renewable portfolio standard. The standard set in Public Act 295 of 2008 and expanded in Public Act 342 of 2016 requires Michigan electric providers to produce from renewable energy resources 12.5 percent of the retail power it supplies in 2019 and 2020, and 15 percent in 2021.

The Commission approved a proposal by Consumers to add up to 525 megawatts of new wind facilities to its power production portfolio. Included in the added 525 megawatts are two proposed 175 megawatt wind projects that would begin operation this year and next.

The Commission cited unrealistically high cost projections in rejecting Consumers’ plan to add 100 megawatts of solar facilities, which were expected to go online in 2024 and 2025. The MPSC said a final determination on the solar proposal will be made when it issues a decision in April on the integrated resource plan the company filed with the MPSC (Case No. U-20165).

The Commission also approved a development asset acquisition agreement allowing Consumers to buy the Gratiot Farms Wind Project. Consumers expects to take over ownership before May 1 of the project developed by Tradewind Energy, Inc.

Consumers’ original renewable energy plan (Case No. U-17792) was approved in March 2016.

Other rulings today:

DTE COST RECOVERY PLANS APPROVED: DTE Electric Co.’s power supply cost recovery (PSCR) plan application for 2018 electric sales has been approved (Case No. U-18403). DTE Electric will implement an adjusted 2018 maximum monthly PSCR factor of negative 0.87 mills per kilowatt-hour following a projected 2017 over recovery of $6.9 million. The Commission also approved DTE Gas Co.’s gas cost recovery plan for the year ending March 31 (Case No. U-18412). DTE Gas will be allowed to implement a GCR factor of $2.86 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf), a pipeline reservation charge of 31 cents per Mcf for GCR customers and 20 cents per Mcf for choice customers. DTE Gas projects total gas supply costs of $400 million and total supply requirement volumes of 123 billion cubic feet. 

PHONE, LIFELINE PROVIDERS APPROVED: Mercury Wireless Indiana LLC was granted a temporary license to provide basic local telephone service under the Michigan Telecommunications Act (Case No. U-20445) in areas of southwest Michigan. Midwest Energy & Communications was granted a temporary license to provide basic local telephone service in 10 southern Michigan counties (Case No. U-20337). Great Lakes Energy Connections Inc. was designated as an eligible carrier to provide rural broadband and Lifeline services to low-income customers in Michigan (Case No. U-20326).

NORTHERN STATES POWER IRP DEADLINE EXTENDED: Northern States Power Co.-Wisconsin was granted an extension to file its multistate integrated resource plan (Case No. U-18461). The new date is July 31. NSP requested the new date, noting that its IRP is being developed in conjunction with Northern States Power Co.-Minnesota and Minnesota had recently granted a filing extension in that state. In a related case, the Commission ruled Wisconsin Electric Power Co. does not have to file an IRP since its lone customer in Michigan, Tilden Mining Co. LLC, will be transferred to Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corp. this year, leaving WEPCO without any retail customers in Michigan (Case No. U-20362).

UMERC CAN IMPLEMENT GAS COST RECOVERY FACTOR: Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corp. was approved to implement a base gas cost recovery factor of up to $0.35796 per 100,000 Btu for the 12-month period ending Oct. 31 (Case No. U-20247). Other charges approved per 100,000 Btu: Transportation charges of $0.72516 per month for annual peak day backup, $0.83931 per month for seasonal peak say backup, and annual supply backup of $0.25988 from November 2018 through October 2019.

ELECTRIC SUPPLIER SURRENDERS LICENSE: Constellation Energy Services, Inc. will surrender its license to operate as an alternative electric supplier in Michigan under the Customer Choice and Electricity Reliability Act (Case No. U-13245). All of its electric choice customers will be transferred to Constellation NewEnergy, Inc.

To look up cases from today’s meeting, access the eDockets filing system here.

To watch a livestream of the MPSC’s meetings, click here.

For information about the MPSC, visit www.michigan.gov/mpsc, sign up for one of its listservs, or follow the Commission on Twitter.

DISCLAIMER: This document was prepared to aid the public’s understanding of certain matters before the Commission and is not intended to modify, supplement, or be a substitute for the Commission’s orders. The Commission’s orders are the official action of the Commission.

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